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State News

Strong Attendance For 2021 Illinois State Fair

Despite a pandemic, this year's Illinois State Fair reported its second highest attendance since 2014. According to numbers released Tuesday, 472,000 visitors walked through the gates at the Springfield fairgrounds during the August event.

Attendance at this year’s fair was surpassed only by the record set in 2019, when the total was 509,000. The first weekend actually beat the numbers of two years ago by over 15,000 people.

“We were happy to be able to hold the 2021 Illinois State Fair after it was canceled in 2020 and now seeing how many people came out to enjoy it with us is really special,” said Illinois State Fair Manager Kevin Gordon. “Obviously this being the first fair after 2019’s near record setting year for attendance, the bar was set pretty high. I think being able to overcome the challenges brought on by the pandemic and safely bring back so many families to the fairgrounds is a great accomplishment.”

The state fair in Springfield, and the Du Quoin State Fair, had COVID-19 protocols in place. Those included a requirement of masks in indoor spaces and the grandstand, although many fairgoers reported the rules were not always followed.

Du Quoin numbers have not been released.

Fair officials say grandstand shows sold over 44,500 tickets, generating over $1.5 million in revenue. Overall revenue numbers are not final, but the 2021 Illinois State Fair is estimating a total over $5 million, ranking ninth out of the last 20 years.

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